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UK chancellor hints at cutbacks in NHS IT programme

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b5391 (Published 09 December 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b5391
  1. Michael Cross
  1. 1London

    Attempts to revive confidence in the £13bn (€14.3bn; $21.3bn) effort to computerise the NHS in England were thrown into disarray this week when the chancellor of the exchequer, Alistair Darling, singled out the programme as a prime candidate for spending cuts.

    In a BBC television interview on Sunday, in advance of the prebudget report due this week, Mr Darling described the programme as “not essential for the front line” and “something we do not need to go ahead with just now.”

    Opposition politicians welcomed the statement. However, the BMA and NHS management bodies warned against cutting back the upgrade of information technology systems in use by NHS organisations. …

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